What do you drink when you’re out at a bar but don’t want to make it a boozy night? Mocktails get a bad rap for being super sweet and sickly, but that’s all been changing lately since non-alcoholic spirits have hit the scene. These booze-free substitutes look and even taste like spirits, but have zero alcohol, making them a great alternative for those who want to go the teetotalling route. Here in Singapore, Seedlip is the most popular non-alcoholic spirit and it’s been earning rave reviews at select cocktail bars around town that serve it up in a variety of creative concoctions.
Seedlip was founded in 2015 by UK native Ben Branson, who saw a gap in the beverage market for decent non-alcoholic drinks that weren’t overly sweet or fruity. He began distilling natural ingredients sourced from his farm in Lincolnshire and later spices and ingredients from abroad, and soon arrived at two sophisticated and very tasty expressions. Garden 108 is a unique blend of peas, hay, rosemary, thyme, spearmint and hops and has a farm fresh flavour, while Spice 94 is an exotic blend of allspice berries, cardamom, grapefruit, lemon, oak and cascarilla bark. Both are alcohol-free and contain no sugar, artificial flavours or calories.
Where to Find the Best Non-alcoholic Cocktails in Singapore
Fancy some Art Deco vibes with your zero-proof bevvies? Atlas is housed in a gorgeous space with a leather banquettes, brass and gold accents, and a beautiful bar that serves up libations for all types of drinkers. If you’re off the alcohol, try the Soldier’s Song made with Seedlip Spice 94, almond syrup, lemon juice, tomato juice, and bay leaf, topped with shaved almonds. The Aviation is another top choice with homemade botanic cordial and butterfly blue pea flowers.
Atlas, 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778. p. +65 6396 4466. Open
Tucked away in the basement of Ocean Financial Centre, The Secret Mermaid focuses mainly on craft spirits from America, but head bartender Kelly D’Cruz also does bespoke booze-free creations using Seedlip spirits. Just tell her what your favourite flavour profiles are and she can whip you up something fresh and floral using the Garden 108 or something a bit richer like a twist on a White Russian with Spice 94, black tea syrup, and soy milk.
The Secret Mermaid, 10 Collyer Quay, Ocean Financial Centre #B1-08, Singapore 049315. Open Mon – Fri 5pm – 11pm
Operation Dagger recently threw a pop-up event showcasing cocktails made with Seedlip spirits and it was a resounding success. In fact, owner Luke Whearty went on to collaborate with Ben Branson on the Seedlip Cocktail Book, adding his own concoction to the list of carefully curated cocktail recipes. The next time you pop by the bar, ask for the Peas & Flowers with Garden 108, honey, lemon balm vinegar, soda, pea tendrils, and edible flowers.
Operation Dagger, 7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01, Singapore 069791. p. +65 6438 4057. Open Mon – Sat 6pm – 12am
Brought to us by the Jigger & Pony group, Caffe Fernet is a gorgeous glass-fronted space with a spacious deck overlooking the water. We highly suggest popping by around sunset time and indulging in a few fizzy bevvies and light Italian bites as the sky fades into pastel hues. Favourites from the non-alcoholic drink menu include the Seedlip Garden 108 & Tonic and the Pink Moni, a twist on the Spumoni cocktail with peach puree, grapefruit and tonic.
Caffe Fernet, 70 Collyer Quay, Customs House #01-05, Singapore 049323. p. +65 9178 1105. Open Mon – Thurs 12pm – 12am, Fri 12pm – 1am, Sat 4pm – 1am, Sun 4pm – 11pm
Native is all about innovative cocktails made with local and regional ingredients, many of which come from the bar’s mini-garden or are foraged right here in Singapore. The team’s commitment to thinking outside the box earned it a place in the World’s 50 Best Bars list 2019, so you can expect inspired beverages both boozy and alcohol-free. Non tipplers can try a Seedlip bevvie mixed with refreshing mixers like coconut water, roots like turmeric, and herbs like wild gotu kola.
Native, 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878. p. +65 8869 6520. Open daily 6pm – 12am
Non-drinkers often get shafted when it comes to food and drink pairings at restaurants, but not at Cloudstreet, the newest venture by chef Rishi Naleendra. Here teetotallers are catered to just like tipplers with the option of non-alcoholic beverage pairings to go with the globally inspired dishes. Think pan-seared turbot paired with a brightly acidic grapefruit, long pepper and tomato drink and Hokkaido scallops paired with a blue pea compressed apple juice.
Cloudstreet, 84 Amoy Street, Singapore 969903. p. +65 6513 7868. Open Mon 6pm – 10pm, Tues – Fri 12pm – 1:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat 6pm – 10pm